Prayers for a writing legend, remembering a rival and other Habs links

First off, best wishes to Sports Illustrated's Michael Farber. The Hall of Fame sports writer is taking a leave of absence for cancer treatment. Farber has been covering hockey for SI since 1994, and recently contributed to a new book simply entitled, "Sports Illustrated: The Hockey Book."

Here Mr. Farber debates someone "we all know and love" on the Punchout in Piestany."

I had the chance to meet Mr. Farber at a signing for the book, alongside Yvan Cournoyer, last fall. It was a pleasure to have a few words with an outstanding writer in the hockey world. All the best to him and a quick recovery.

More after the jump..

Oddly enough, I found myself skimming through that very book this past Sunday afternoon, as the Toronto Sportcard and Memorabilia show is at the end of April. This year a slew of HOFers are hitting the autograph table, including Cournoyer, Mark Messier, Bobby Hull and future Hall of Famer Chris Chelios.

I was thinking how adding some more signatures to the book would make for a great collectors item. Only problem is, I'm getting married the Friday of the event. I checked AJSportsworld, who bring in the autograph guests, to see what the drop off fees might be. I was then reminded that the Buffalo Sabres legendary French Connection would be signing later this month in store.

Sadly, I would leard just a few hours later that one member of that trio, Rick Martin, was killed Sunday after suffering a heart attack and crashing his car.

Martin was the scorer on the line that featured Hall of Fame centre Gilbert Perreault and winger Rene Robert. After three seasons of 40 goals or more, his scoring numbers dipped. That was until Scotty Bowman, who brings out the best in every player, arrived in Buffalo and he recorded 45 goals in the 1979-80 season His career was shortened due to a knee injury the following season. After being traded to the Los Angeles Kings in March of 1981, Martin finished his career with 701 points (348 goals) in 685 NHL games.

Martin and his linemates were never as despised by Habs fans as other rivals were, most likely due to their connection to Montreal (Martin and Perrault both played for he Montreal Juniors). They were also brought a smooth flowing style of play that paralled that of the Habs teams of their eras.

Our condolences go out to his wife and two sons, Corey and Josh. More on Martin from our SBNation partner at DieByTheBlade.

JT's sense of renewal on the Chara/Pacioretty incident

Brian Wilde on the head injury saga

Eric Engels looks ahead to the Habs week

Canadiens players respond and support their ownerGilbert Perrault remebers Rick Martin

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